Forcing one to drink can’t be a test of friendshipA friend of

Lunar New Year’s day in hospital this year, because he was urged to drink Kweichow Moutai, the famous Chinese liquor. After recklessly guzzli

ng almost half liter, he went into a coma due to alcohol poisoning and ended up in the emergency room. My poor friend missed the entire Spring Festival.

For many foreigners, such an incident may be beyond imagination, and include a shock factor. Why do some Chinese pe

ople always force others to drink? How is drinking linked to sincerity and good faith? Well, welcome to the Chinese drinking culture.

As an old saying goes, “In wine there is truth.” Some Chinese people tend to believ

e that under the influence, people may reveal their true beliefs and feelings which would not be expressed when they are sober.

As a result, when people are urging their friends to drink, they may say: “If you don’t drink up, you are not m

y true friend!” It sounds they could only be honest and open to each other when they are dead-drunk.

In another type of situation, people who hold more power force their subordinates to drink. They would say: “Dr

ink this up, and then I will promise you your promotion.” It is more like forced persuasion or even a threat. In

China, urging people to drink is like a “game of thrones.” The domineering would force others to drink up so as to show off their

power, while the pliable tend to yield. They use empty bottles to tell the strong: “See, I keep drinking and don’t care sacrificing my health for you.”

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nside the workshop of Jilin province’s ‘last blacks

Tian Hongming, 67, has been dubbed the “last blacksmith by the fire” by the people of Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province.

Having picked up the skill of forging iron at the age of seven from his grandfather, Tian has made a living from the skill for more than half a century.

In the 1990s his business reached its peak, selling more than 80,000 iron products a year, Tian said.

With increaed industsrialization and the cheaper and more intricate iron products it brought however, Tian and his workshop went into decline.

Although fewer customers now choose handmade iron products, Tian sticks to the traditional craft and takes every order seriously.

In 2015 his skill was listed among the city’s intangible cultural heritages.

“Sometimes, the flow-line productions can’t meet the special needs of custo

mers, so the craft will never be replaced,” he said. “And I will continue my business as long as the market and customers need me.”

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Organizations and individuals involved in the abnorma

will be publicized on the CNIPA website and China Intellectual Property News, a Beijing-base

d newspaper, and face other punishments administered by related authorities, according to the draft.

They will also be blacklisted and exposed via a national credibility information sharing system.

Trademarks achieved by this means will be declared void, the draft says.

“The long-awaited regulations draft came as no surprise,” Li said. “Such regulations are necessary, especially amid continuous growth in IP filings in China.”

The number of trademark applications from the country has topped the world for ye

ars, according to statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Data from the CNIPA show that the inventory of valid domestic trademarks had surpassed 18 million by the end of 2018.

China has improved in IP filings and protection by leaps and bounds, yet insufficien

t enforcement has come under fire and the discordance between quantity and quality has yet to be tackled, Li said.

Growing awareness of the issues and the reconfiguration of IP administrative organs contributed to the rollout of the draft, he added.

“The draft does not merely address the chronic problem of abnormal applica

tions but provides an approach to balancing the quantity and quality, ” he noted. “It is just a start.”

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Another post by the same blogger claimed Zhai’s doctoral gra

aduation dissertation could not be found in the CNKI database, while all graduation dissertations written by his classmates were there.

Zhai’s studio said on Friday he obtained a Ph.D. from the Beijing Film Academy in June, and all h

is academic papers and his dissertation were written by him under the guidance of supervisors.

He has met all graduation requirements from the academy and is willing to be held responsible for any academic misconduct, the studio said.

Netizens later found Zhai’s supervisor Chen Yi, former director of the performance institute of the Beijing Film Academy, on

ly has a bachelor’s degree and has not published any academic papers. However, doctoral supervisors at the university are supposed to have a do

ctoral degree and publish at least eight academic papers and two academic monographs within five years.

Zhai posted an apology letter on his Sina Weibo page Thursday.

“After I have starred in a few films and TV series, I have become full of myself and forgotten honesty is the most important principle,” he said.

“Vanity has misguided me and I brought this attitude into writing academic papers. I will

withdraw from postdoctoral research at Peking University and I am deeply sorry to my school, teachers, fans and the public.”

www.sh419zz.com

He said the buyers assumed the housing price in January wo

ie Yifeng, president of the Realty Association of Asia-Pacific Cities, said the sliding sales

in January were due to seasonal factors and should not be regarded as a market trend.

“The Spring Festival was the main reason,” he said. “Property developers were not passionate about selling new proj

ects during the holiday, and it was not very realistic for banks to release housing loans before or during the holiday.”

“A significant index was the registered sold property on the government’s website, but government employees were on

a break too and the statistics of sold property registered on the government’s website were not getting a timely upd

ate,” he said. “The real statistics from last December to January will gradually start to be updated in March.”

In fact, Xie predicted the market in 2019 would be better than last year, as he said the real market indicators were the rising land prices and the amount of land sold.

“The decisive factor is the government’s decision on the shantytown redevelopment policy,” he added, pointing

out that this was expected during this year’s session of the National People’s Congress in March.

Zhang Bo, chief analyst at the 58 Anjuke Institute, said apart from buyers being skeptical tow

ard the price, the weakening intention for speculation was another factor contributing to the slow sales in lower-tier cities.

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Sao Paulo orchestra makes debut in ChinaState Symphony

The Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, the first South American symphony to t

our China, will hold a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on the night of Valentine’s Day.

The event also marked the first time the symphony’s female conductor Marin Alsop is involved in a performance in China.

Alsop, who is one of the most prominent students of the late US musician Leonard Bernstein, introduced the symphony’s m

usic style as “accessible with folk elements” and highly rhythmic, which is “a hallmark of the Brazilian music”.
The

concert program, she added, is perfect for Valentine’s Day as it “begins with lots of fire and ends with lots of romance”.

The concert opened with Bernstein’s Candide Overture, followed by works from Brazilian composer Heit

or Villa-Lobos and Argentine Alberto Ginastera. The second part featured Sheherazade by Russian artist Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Following its China premiere in Shanghai, Alsop and the Sao Pa

ulo symphony will go on to play in Jinan of Shandong province, Beijing and Hong Ko

ng, where the company will feature as the opening performance for the Hong Kong Arts Festival on Feb 21.

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Pompeo, Lavrov hold phone talks over INF, Venezuela

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has had a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, reaffirming US stance on the Inte

rmediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and Venezuela, the State Department said on Wednesday.

Pompeo told his Russian counterpart on Tuesday that the INF Treaty would terminate in early August unless Russia com

es back into full and verifiable compliance with the treaty, the State Department said in a statement.

Pompeo and Lavrov also discussed the situation in Venezuela and a peaceful transition to

democracy that is in the best interest of both the United States and Russia, said the statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Lavrov warned Pompeo in the phone co

nversation that Russia opposed US intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela, including the use of force.

Washington will face violations of international law if the United States intervenes, Lavrov told his counterpart.

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more C919 jets to make maiden test flights this yearakes its mai

Another three prototypes for China’s first homegrown large passenger jet, the C919, will conduct their maiden flights this year, follow

ing the success of a third one on Dec 28, 2018, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), the maker of the jet.

The 104 prototype test aircraft of the China-made C919 has entered its final assembly stage, the 10

5 is undergoing the assembly of major components, and the main components of the 106 are in pro

duction. The maiden test flights for all three new prototype jets are expected to take place before the end of 2019.

The addition of these three would bring the total number of C919 prototype test aircraft to six.

To date, domestic and overseas buyers have placed orders for 815 of the China-m

ade C919 aircraft.Chinese communities around the world welcomed the Year of th

e Pig on Feb 5, ushering in Lunar New Year with prayers, family feasts and shopping sprees.

Celebrations took place across the globe, ranging from Southeast Asia’s centuries-old Chi

nese communities to the more recently established Chinatowns of Sydney, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles and beyond.

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Innovation in science and technology bolsters Guangdong’s e

Despite China’s ongoing trade war with the United States, Guangdong province, an economic powerhouse, has found new ways to attain sustainable economic development.

In addition to the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which helped the province maintain its strong growth momentum, inn

ovation in science and technology was the key to sustainable economic growth last year, Wang Ruijun, director-general of

the provincial Department of Science and Technology, told local media recently.

Wang said the provincial government spared no effort to promote innovation after President X

i Jinping urged Guangdong to further develop its innovative industries during last year’s tw

o sessions – the annual meetings of China’s top legislature and advisory body.

Wang said Guangdong has invested more than 4 billion yuan ($593 million) to help build seven provi

ncial-level laboratories and 72 other major scientific research projects to support economic development.

It has also actively integrated its scientific and technological development into the country’s de

velopment plan for major scientific and technological projects, while building the Guangdong-H

ong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Innovation Center of Science and Technology, he said.

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Employment, private kindergartens and small business taxes

Several ministry-level departments, including those for human resources and social security,

civil affairs, and finance, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Employment survey to help job seekers

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Securit

y has launched an online survey in an effort to improve services to job seekers.

In a notice posted on its website on Feb 2, the ministry invited members of the public to fill in

an employment questionnaire and give it a better understanding of the employment sit

uation after the Feb 4-10 Spring Festival holiday.

The survey is open to the public until Feb 20. Respondents can access the questionnair

e by scanning a QR code on the screen of their cellphones or logging on to the ministry’s website.

The ministry also surveyed employers and job-seekers last year to find out more about employment needs after Spring Festival.

www.qhfde.com